The State Department and Department of Homeland Security extended until December 31, 2023, the previously approved authorities allowing consular officers to waive the in-person interview for certain applicants.
Under these authorities, consular officers have the discretion to waive the visa interview requirement for certain first-time and renewing H-2 visa applicants and for certain F, M, and academic J, and individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or for certain first-time F, M, and academic J, or individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility and have previously traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
Applicants renewing a visa in the same classification within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration are also eligible for an interview waiver.
Consular officers may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis, taking into account local conditions.
Applicants are encouraged to check embassy and consulate websites for more detailed information about this development, as well as current operating status and services.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments, and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.